RICHMOND, Va. -- Starting Dec. 1, a new Virginia law bans most smoking in restaurants.
It's a major shift for a state where tobacco has been king since Jamestown was settled 400 years ago.
Virginia's neighbor and the nation's top tobacco producer, North Carolina, passed an even stricter restaurant smoking ban this year. It takes effect Jan. 2.
About 70 percent of Virginia restaurants have already banned smoking on their own.
Restaurant industry lobbyist Tom Lisk says he expects only about one-tenth of the rest to spend the money to create the specially ventilated smoking rooms that would be allowed under the law.
North Carolina's law will outlaw smoking in restaurants. Both states will allow smoking in outdoor patios.
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